(672) Personal Overview-Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis Poem by Melvina Germain

(672) Personal Overview-Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Many years ago in the early 80’s, my life was about to encounter an abrupt change. I was happily enjoying all the things that were going on in my life at that time. My husband and I enjoying good times, everything seemed to be nicely falling into place. The money was coming in on a regular basis, the children were doing well in school, sickness was almost non-existent. I was preparing for a body-building competition, my health, I thought was
excellent. I worked very hard in the gym, was determined to win the competition of course.

We just opened a new business called (Dynamic Demo) received a contract to work at the Co-op stores, fantastic I thought. While working in Co-op,
unfortunately I had to stand by the freezers. On the second day of the job, I began to feel very sick, but of course it was a three day contract and I was determined to finish it. I thought I was going to pass out the third day but was able to hang in there and make it through.

The following Monday I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with pneumonia, that made sense because I was susceptible to that particular disease, this was not the first time I had pneumonia, but it was different this time, I felt sore and stiff. The disease passed several days later, but the soreness and stiffness remained. I visited the doctor on several occasions and was referred to a specialist. The specialist checked me over, took several tests and sent the tests to the lab. I would have to wait for a proper diagnosis, however the doctor told me he was sure I had Lupus. This news came just prior to Christmas, imagine going through Christmas thinking you have Lupus. At the time I thought Lupus meant eventual death, I was doomed to say the least, that’s what I thought. I decided not to tell my family, I didn’t want to ruin their Christmas. So I hid it in the back of my mind and tried not to think about it.

After Christmas, I went back to the doctor, he looked at my swollen wrists and said, this is definitely not Lupus, no this is not Lupus. He then looked in his files and found my report from the lab. He read the report to me and it indicated I had rheumatoid arthritis. I was actually happy to hear the diagnosis, it meant I truly didn’t have Lupus and that was certainly a relief. I learned later that it was possible to live a full life with Lupus, but I researched it and also realized how difficult Lupus was to deal with. I felt it would be much easier to live with R.A.
In the weeks to come, I experienced a great deal of pain. I had to totally quit going to the gym, no more thought of body-building. It was impossible for me to hold on to a weight. My hands would not close, I couldn’t make a fist, they resembled claws. My wrists, elbows and knees were swollen and very painful. At times, in the morning especially, I couldn’t walk. My husband carried me to the bathroom, he stayed very close to me at that time. The pain in my wrists at times was excruciating and I cried a lot, both my husband and I sat in our TV room and cried. I could barely wash myself in the mornings. I spent most of the day laying on the couch watching TV.

After several months of pain and mood changes, it came to mind that this was not the way I wanted to live my life. I told my husband, I’m going to get over this and that’s all there is to it. I decided to really research this disease and try and figure out what would work for me. I read several health books and one that gave me almost instant relief was a book that told of a Swedish remedy, I tried it immediately and it worked wonderfully, it was harsh but it did the trick. When I took my morning shower, I would take it as hot as possible, when finished with the hot, I would then turn it off and blast myself with totally cold water. At first it was very difficult for me to do, but the results were amazing. I could walk much better and felt a whole lot better. I started my morning that way for several months. Even now, if I feel the need, I will take the blast of hot and cold. Water itself is truly amazing, the healing qualities are truly a gift from God.

Keep in mind, while conducting my research on R.A. a drug was prescribed for me, I was continually taking a drug called Naproxin, as a matter of fact I was involved in a study for this drug and therefore received the drug free of charge. Naproxin was an Nsaid drug (Anti inflammatory drug) This drug made it possible for me to get through my days a little easier, but I knew these drugs were not good for me, I had to find a natural alternative.

Months, years went by, during these years I tried many different things. I made sure I stayed as flexible as possible, I knew I was in trouble if I couldn’t touch my toes, so I exercised regularly as much as I could. I took aqua-size classes which worked very well, again the use of water-fabulous.
I took cod liver oil capsules especially in the winter months. I made sure I kept my milk intake up but also took a supplement of calcium/magnesium, I also took vitamin E capsules. I made sure I kept my fluid intake up, drinking the required amount of water, juice etc. absolutely no pop. I kept my coffee down to no more than one cup every couple of days, even less. I was a tea drinker though and I would say at that time I was drinking maybe two to three cups of tea a day. A friend told me she heard the Aloe Vera plant had healing qualities. Of course I immediately bought a plant, but went a step further by visiting a health food store and buying the juice. I drank the juice for maybe oh two, three years. While doing all of this I was feeling great, every now and then though I would experience quite a bit of pain. I realized the time I felt the pain was actually attributed to the type of weather we were having at the time. My joints told me of the change prior to it happening. I was definitely in tune with my body. I knew my body better than the doctors did, that was quite apparent.

Several years passed, I was doing very well health-wise, so decided to open a wedding shop with a friend. Well, not such a good idea, the shop added stress to my life, which added more pain. Now I began to walk slower, always stiff in the mornings and having to blast every morning again. One day a good looking gentleman came into the store, inquiring about wedding supplies for his daughter. We talked and he observed the way I was walking, he asked “why are you walking like that” what’s wrong with you?
I told him and he replied without hesitation. “You don’t have to walk like that, you know”. You are in charge of how you deal with your condition. Well I certainly agreed with that. He told me he could mix me up a potion of oils, three different oils in fact, (peanut oil, olive oil and castor oil) for a nominal fee. Oh great I said and ordered three bottles of oil. The following
day, he delivered the oil to me. I went in the back room and massaged it into my knees, elbows and wrists, by that evening I felt wonderful. I massaged the oil at least three times a day. When I started to run out, I called and ordered more, I knew I didn’t want to run out of this fabulous stuff. The oils worked for me for many years, I’m still using the castor oil on my legs when I need it, I keep a gallon jug on hand.

Nine years went by before I visited my rheumatologist again. My G.P. insisted on a visit with him for a check-up. I did go and he was surprised that I didn’t have any deformities at all. No nodules, nothing, I was doing fine. I had some pain, but nothing I couldn’t handle. We talked and he thought it would be a good idea for me to go on a drug called methotrexate, it was a cancer drug but apparently worked well with R.A. patients. I was feeling good and if this drug could make me feel even more normal, heck I was willing to try it. I did and wow! no pain at all, this was great, much better than I expected. Of course there is that research element in me. I must know about every drug I’m taking. I found out that this particular drug is not good for your liver and the possibility of liver disease is higher while taking the drug. I didn’t do anything about that because I was enjoying the freedom of pain.

I looked around me one day, looking first at my husband, watching him smile while we were engaged in conversation over a cup of tea. I looked at my grandson when he came in the kitchen, I then realized how blessed I was to have been given a second chance at parenting. I thought about my children and my other grandchildren. At that point, I decided I wanted to stay here on earth as long as possible and enjoy the gifts God so generously gave me. I knew I had to get off the Methotrexate drug. The question now was, I still wanted to enjoy a good quality of life, oh yes I wanted it all.

Shortly after deciding to get off the Methotrexate, I heard of a business called Melaleuca and went to one of their meetings. It was then I found the vitamins which I take on a daily basis now. I signed up and received the vitamins every month. After two months on these vitamins, I noticed a difference, I was sure I was feeling even better, however realized I’m still on the cancer drug as well. I then decided, yes I want to get off this drug. I made this decision on my own without the advice of a doctor. No I did not tell my doctor I was going to do this, however prior to this I asked him about the danger of the drug. He told me it would take a long time before the drug would attack my liver and then shrugged it off. Well that was it, this was my body and I still wanted to be alive and well in the next twenty years or so. I weaned myself off the drug and continued to take the vitamin regimen from Melaleuca.

Currently I’m on the Melaleuca vitamins and doing well. My daily activities are not a problem. Sometimes I do experience stiffness with the change of the weather of course. As far as the vitamins are concerned with Melaleuca, you do have to sign up and some people don’t like that. Another thing about these vitamins is they do in fact stay in your body longer and therefore you reap the benefits. It is not my intention of selling you on these vitamins. I just want you to realize this is what is working for me. I’m truly a Melaleuca person, I use all of their products and will never change back to the chemical killing products on the market. I never walk down the cleaning product aisle of any store, I don’t want to breathe in the off-gassing that comes from the cleaning products eg. laundry powders, bathroom cleaning products etc. etc. etc. I believe all these things attribute to keeping diseases alive and well
I’ve made a commitment to myself and my family that I will do everything in my power to stay well for as long as God allows it. After all, I’m in charge of my own destiny, I make the decisions for my body. I know my body better than any doctor could ever know it-why? -because I live in my body, this is the shell that was given me and I must take the best care of it possible. Another important thing is to stay positive and not allow any negative forces in. If you have negative people around telling you it’s impossible for you to help yourself, then you must decide what you want. Do you want them or do you want to get better. Positive energy is key, believing in yourself, knowing who you are, loving yourself then and only then can you love others, having the desire and the belief that you can bring your body back to a state where you can enjoy life again. You are worth it, you deserve the best, you deserve to enjoy life and you will enjoy life again, so get started today and enjoy your life. I will be praying for you sister.

The following page lists all the things I did to get to where I’am today in regards to my R.A. Remember this is what worked for me, this is my opinion only. I’m not a Doctor, Nurse or Psychologist etc. etc. etc.


Frank James Ryan Jr...fjr 05 September 2007

I thought we agreed that i'd get first peek at the 1st installment of your auyo-biography....Some people! ...LOL! Excellent work....Interesting material...Thought i'd pay you a visit 2-nite. I like this a lot Ms Melvina! Thank you for thre share...I'd try out mine, BUT PH WOULD BAN ME! ~ ~ ~

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Andrew mark Wilkinson 04 September 2007

Wow Melvina, I never Realized you have been through so much, you are a fighter arn't you girl.. Thank you for showing us this Glimpse into a important and painful time in your life... Your just amazing Mel..

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Melvina Germain

Melvina Germain

Sydney, Nova Scotia
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